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Old 07-17-2018, 08:23 PM   #1
audiojunkie
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Default What is and isn't there in the Linux builds?

I'm a long-time Windows Reaper user (since the betas). And, I'm still somewhat of a beginner with Linux, so please be patient with me, and I'll likely become very active here. :-)

I remember reading somewhere (and yet I can't find where), that the Linux version of Reaper currently has some limitations. For example, I read that it doesn't yet have plug-in support. Can someone correct me if I'm wrong?

Also, does Reaper for Linux support JACK?

What other limitations are there when compared with Windows and OSX versions?

I'm trying to get a baseline on where development is right now with Reaper on Linux.

Thanks!

--Sean
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Old 07-18-2018, 01:34 AM   #2
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Quote:
Also, does Reaper for Linux support JACK?
Reaper support Jack and Alsa (but only Jack-MIDI).
Jack transport works only in slave mode.

Quote:
What other limitations are there when compared with Windows and OSX versions?
REAPACK doesn't work IIRC.
Some graphical differences with OSX/Win too when opening windows.

Quote:
I read that it doesn't yet have plug-in support. Can someone correct me if I'm wrong?
Reaper now supports Linux VST but not (yet?) LV2 and Ladspa,
but you can use a bridge or an host for that (Carla-VST works
nice)
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Old 07-18-2018, 02:43 AM   #3
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REAPER for Linux is more or less on par feature wise with the other platforms, it also has SWS and Reapack. It's GUI might however have some inconsistencies or missing features due to implementing all the menus and dialogs directly in libSwell, instead of using higher level toolkits.

That said I've been using it for a long time now, and there really is little to complain about. Hopefully libSwell will keep improving until the GUI is on par with Windows & OS/X. SWELL is also open source, so anyone could theoretically help in implementing better support.

It supports the builtin FX as well as Linux VST2/3. So far it doesn't implement support for the native Linux LADSPA, DSSI & LV2 formats. Hopefully this will be added in a future release.

It does support ALSA, JACK and Pulseaudio as audio backends, but needs JACK for midi support. Again hopefully ALSA midi will be added soon, as that would remove the need for running JACK unless one needs/wants JACK for some other functionality.

It also supports video editing through ffmpeg/vlc v3 and older.
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Last edited by Jack Winter; 07-18-2018 at 04:03 AM.
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Old 07-18-2018, 06:42 AM   #4
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VST bridging is not supported natively yet -- all VSTs run in-process, and you can only run VSTs of the same architecture.

Video display support is unaccelerated -- everything gets converted to RGB and drawn to screen using the same method as the arrange, without any filtering on the resize (so it'll look a bit pixely if resized, and probably uses a bit more CPU than desirable).
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Old 07-18-2018, 08:06 AM   #5
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Thanks for all the replies guys!
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Old 07-18-2018, 10:02 AM   #6
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I haven't switched to Linux yet but I will soon. Last time I used it was a few years ago and I didn't get all Linux-nerded out to understand everything (the distro I chose was user-friendly and didn't require me to do a lot). So some of the specifics are alien to me. As such I'll be asking what I'm sure are really irritating newbie questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Winter View Post
Its GUI might however have some inconsistencies or missing features due to implementing all the menus and dialogs directly in libSwell, instead of using higher level toolkits.
...
It does ... need JACK for midi support.
No show-stoppers in the GUI being "too messed up to use" hopefully?

For using a MIDI keyboard with Reaper only, will it require JACK? (I don't plan to "connect" Reaper to any other application, so I was hoping to avoid using JACK entirely.)

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VST bridging is not supported natively yet -- all VSTs run in-process, and you can only run VSTs of the same architecture.
Does that refer to 32-bit versus 64-bit LinuxVST plugins?
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Old 07-18-2018, 10:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesPeters View Post
No show-stoppers in the GUI being "too messed up to use" hopefully?
No, no showstoppers at all. More like some things could be drawn better (dialogs), but it's minor. Mostly nitpicking

Quote:
For using a MIDI keyboard with Reaper only, will it require JACK? (I don't plan to "connect" Reaper to any other application, so I was hoping to avoid using JACK entirely.)
At the moment yes. For MIDI you still need JACK. JACK1 ought to work out of the box, with JACK2 you'd need to run an extra utility (a2jmidid -e) to expose ALSA MIDI ports as JACK MIDI ports, otherwise REAPER won't see them. Once Cockos implements ALSA MIDI support, then you won't need JACK anymore.


Quote:
Does that refer to 32-bit versus 64-bit LinuxVST plugins?
Yes and of course ARM vs x86_64 too.
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Last edited by Jack Winter; 07-18-2018 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 07-18-2018, 11:20 AM   #8
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I think for people new to Linux there will be a few learning experiences.

First of all it's a different OS, so things will be different. You start from zero knowledge more or less, except a good GUI helps

Then what Desktop Environment or Windows Manager your distro uses. Some use KDE or Gnome and are full fledged environments with apps for most everything, others are slim and just focused on running programs efficiently.

Reaper should feel right at home, with most bells and whistles available.

What might be disconcerting is the lack of the windows/osx plugins normally available to the user. There are commercial plugins and quite a few free plugins and even plugin suits available that work well in reaper. Still giving up your toys...

There are even ways to run windows plugins on Linux using WINE and for instance the LinVst wrapper. This is somewhat of hit & miss, but mostly works albeit with some caveats. IMO best employed for mixing and not for low latency live FX.

The other downside is the lack of soundcard drivers. Mostly we are good with the Class 2.0 Audio USB specification. It means that most USB soundcards can be used with Linux, but we typically lose control of any onboard DSP, and in some cases have higher latency. Firewire ought to work well with most devices too.

My recommendation would be to ease into it. Install Linux on a different disk/partition or USB drive. Then once you get comfortable, dive in!
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Last edited by Jack Winter; 07-18-2018 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 07-18-2018, 04:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesPeters View Post
For using a MIDI keyboard with Reaper only, will it require JACK? (I don't plan to "connect" Reaper to any other application, so I was hoping to avoid using JACK entirely.)
For the most part you can kind of forget about Jack. As long as you have it installed Reaper can automatically start Jack when it opens. Of course it is annoying to have to have to setup things through qjackctl or whatever Jack front-end you are using, however, on any other OS you'll have some proprietary driver and software for the soundcard/interface that you setup routing through anyways.

The benefit to using Jack is that you have routing for the entire system and not just the audio interface.

In most cases Jack isn't any more involved than Windows or Mac. Just choose the front-end application that makes it easiest for you.

@Jack Winter - Firewire is hit and miss still and it's very much dependant on the device. At least with USB there is a much better chance of near complete functionality right out of the gate so long as the device is class compliant. The nice thing about Firewire though is that there are very few devices still being made with the protocol but the FFADO project is still fairly active. Hopefully they'll have a chance to catch up with some of the devices that don't function very use-ably still.

Last edited by zoso2; 07-18-2018 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 07-18-2018, 05:19 PM   #10
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I prefer to run everything "in the DAW" and not incur any latency by routing things to/from it (and/or having to "print" tracks in the DAW from a standalone synth application), and I'd also like to not have to think about loading extra software when I start Reaper (not just JACK but also any standalone synths etc.) I have no need to do that anyway since there are enough plugins as native LinuxVST and JS in Reaper that do what I need.
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Old 07-18-2018, 08:56 PM   #11
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FYI Jack Midi has less jitter than ALSA midi and is slightly faster as well iirc - Jack uses the ALSA drivers, if there are some, to mount your sound hardware. JACK enables many other features, but to simply run Reaper Linux you may never need it,except for midi for now.

One very nice feature about JACK/QJACKCTL is it can run in the tray and show when you have "xruns" - over or under runs (dropouts in other OS's) I had Rui (qjackctl dev) add some buttons to it years ago that give it a very small screen footprint but gives a fantastic system overview at a glance. Oh and Jack adds 0 latency.

2c

g
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Old 07-19-2018, 12:49 PM   #12
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Ah, and silly me thought FW was done and dusted

JACK does not add any latency at all, you could even say that it is the latency. The latency given by buffersize / samplerate + any additional hardware latency.

What it mainly gives you, is a way to exchange sample accurate audio and midi streams between jack clients.
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Old 07-19-2018, 02:38 PM   #13
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...and not to mention jack transport and netjack!! but they are for more high level use.

One other reason to consider using qjackctl is that it shows total system load = CPU overhead. This is very important if you are using vst's as Reaper's cpu meter can't measure the external Wine thread cpu usage. Reaper showing 5%, but Qjackctl showed 66%. An excellent way, but not the only way, to monitor CPU load. It's central to my system. Don't be fooled by it - there's a lot of power there.
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Old 07-20-2018, 03:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Winter View Post
I think for people new to Linux there will be a few learning experiences.

First of all it's a different OS, so things will be different. You start from zero knowledge more or less, except a good GUI helps

Then what Desktop Environment or Windows Manager your distro uses. Some use KDE or Gnome and are full fledged environments with apps for most everything, others are slim and just focused on running programs efficiently.

Reaper should feel right at home, with most bells and whistles available.

What might be disconcerting is the lack of the windows/osx plugins normally available to the user. There are commercial plugins and quite a few free plugins and even plugin suits available that work well in reaper. Still giving up your toys...

There are even ways to run windows plugins on Linux using WINE and for instance the LinVst wrapper. This is somewhat of hit & miss, but mostly works albeit with some caveats. IMO best employed for mixing and not for low latency live FX.

The other downside is the lack of soundcard drivers. Mostly we are good with the Class 2.0 Audio USB specification. It means that most USB soundcards can be used with Linux, but we typically lose control of any onboard DSP, and in some cases have higher latency. Firewire ought to work well with most devices too.

My recommendation would be to ease into it. Install Linux on a different disk/partition or USB drive. Then once you get comfortable, dive in!
This type of info might be very handy in some sort of Sticky (Reaper in Linux for newbs?) or at the top of the Wiki page. It's the kind of stuff that I've been wondering about for a while.
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Old 07-20-2018, 03:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesPeters View Post
For using a MIDI keyboard with Reaper only, will it require JACK? (I don't plan to "connect" Reaper to any other application, so I was hoping to avoid using JACK entirely.)
5.94pre2 has added raw alsa midi support. You can use the alsa/pulseaudio/dymmy backends with it. So no need to run JACK anymore for midi support.
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Old 07-20-2018, 04:05 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dug dog View Post
This type of info might be very handy in some sort of Sticky (Reaper in Linux for newbs?) or at the top of the Wiki page. It's the kind of stuff that I've been wondering about for a while.
We're still moving in, I haven't even gotten the beer fridge cold and loaded

There's been a lot of changes lately, so I'll definitely have to update the wiki, and I suppose someday make some stickies.

Still stick around, read the threads as they develop, and play with REAPER for Linux!
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Old 07-20-2018, 04:17 PM   #17
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LOL. Sorry Jack. Didn't mean to put the pressure on. I'm just excited is all.
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Old 07-20-2018, 04:20 PM   #18
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Yeah, me too
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